The following is a survey of Australian racing tips for Saturday, February 29. The highlight of the day is the Group 1 Australian Guineas (Race 7) at Flemington. The two other Group 1 races on the day are the Surround Stakes (Race 6) and Chipping Norton Stakes (Race 7) at Randwick. The other group races at Flemington and Randwick are also covered. More tips and previews will be added as they become available.
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Flemington Race 4, No. 2 Sylvia’s Mother
Flemington Race 7, No. 4 Catalyst
Randwick Race 2, No. 2 Stellar Pauline
Randwick Race 3, No. 1 Prague
Randwick Race 5, No. 4 Sweet Deal
Race 6, No.6 Fabergino – 4.5 stars
Best Bet: Catalyst ($2.70) – 5 stars
Best Value: Superstorm ($15.00)
Exotic: Trifecta: 4,6/1,3,4,6/1,3,4,6
Race 8, No.2 Fifty Stars – 4 stars
Race 7: Catalyst
Betting Confidence: Medium
Back – #6 Superstorm
Betting Confidence: High
Back – #7 Night’s Watch
Race 4: Parmie each-way
Race 5: Age Of Chivalry
Race 7: Catalyst
Race 8: Fifty Stars, saving on Ringerdingding
SYLVIA’S MOTHER (2) should get a soft run here from barrier one. Going to need room at the right time, and she may well have a target on her back being the clear horse to beat, but she’s surely hard to hold out. FIDELIA (6) has 3.5 lengths to make up on her from the fresh run but has the talent to do so. She needs things to fall her way but Flemington 1400m is ideal for her. PARMIE (4) worked too hard last time and blew out late. Should get a softer run this time and appeals taking on the older horses. THE CLOSER (7) has found winning form and while this is tougher she rates among the key hopes. BENITOITE (3) can be fitter second up but does have to improve sharply.
AGE OF CHIVALRY (1) was well held first up but that was in a fast 1100m. Much better served up to 1400m now where he can get up on speed and travel. Strong winner over the 1400m second up last prep and his best spring form makes him the one to beat. YULONG JANUARY (4) and MORVADA (7) ran 1-2 in the Dillon and have to think that both run well again on the back of that. Things are no tougher here. ROCK (3) has to concede them race fitness but has the talent and must be wary. Betting can tell us more about whether he is ready to rumble off the break. BLAZEJOWSKI (6) didn’t get the best of runs last time. He could improve.
CATALYST (4) was repelled in a brilliant duel with ALLIGATOR BLOOD (1) in the Hayes but suspicion is that he has more to come out to the mile now and he is fancied to turn the tables. Both are capable of running top line ratings and despite the lack of obvious early speed it looks sure to turn into a high-class edition of the race. The task facing CHENIER (7) at just his fourth start is steep, given that, but he did run really well behind that pair first up and the mile looks like a plus for him. ALABAMA EXPRESS (3) beat the older horses in the Orr and commands respect. Think he could use his pace to take up the running over the mile. SUPERSTORM (6) has a trickier map but he certainly adds something to the race coming across from WA off a soft win last time. Talented.
FIFTY STARS (2) ran really well first up and the Flemington mile is the ideal track and trip for him. Terrific when placed in the Cantala here in the spring and showed some tactical pace when good in the Mackinnon on the back of that. Could be the one to take it up but it’s a guessing game. NIGHT’S WATCH (7) has the blinkers on and has Oliver to do the steering. Should improve sharply. RINGERDINGDING (5) has a terrific turn of foot if this turns into a sit and sprint. SO SI BON (4) and GUIZOT (8) are well exposed but both can race handy and wouldn’t shock.
2. Sylvia’s Mother (3 stars)
9. Cazabillie (3 stars)
7. The Closer (3 stars)
3. Benitoite (2 stars)
4. Yulong January (5 stars)
8. Ef Troop (4 stars)
2. Gold Fields (2 stars)
5. Sircconi (2 stars)
1. Alligator Blood (5 stars)
4. Catalyst (4 stars)
3. Alabama Express (2 stars)
2. Dalasan (2 stars)
9. Galaxy Raider (4 stars)
3. Admiral’s Joker (3 stars)
8. Guizot (3 stars)
2. Fifty Stars (3 stars)
4, 9 can lead. 2, 5, 7, 8 handy. 1 next? SPANISH WHISPER resumes off a nice trial, the last time she was first up she ran home into second splitting Pippie and SYLVIA’S MOTHER. She meets the latter 1.5kg better today. Sylvia’s Mother produced a terrific return win in fast time. Doubt she was in the A-ground when Spanish Whisper beat here in spring. First go 1400m but doubt an issue. FIDELIA certainly did enough fresh, she should have beaten Spanish Whisper second up last prep. THE CLOSER is in form, was only 2.4L off Spanish Whisper in the Kewney last year and has a 5kg swing! 5, 4, 3 hopes.
Selections: 2. Sylvia’s Mother (Top Tip), 1. Spanish Whisper, 6. Fidelia, 7. The Closer
SPEED: 4, 7 with 5, 2, 1 can all go forward. ROCK has also accepted in Sydney. His form on good/soft-5 ground is exceptional. He won very well fresh last time in. AGE OF CHIVALRY was close up in a fast Rubiton Stakes at 1100m fresh, he won well at 1400m second up last prep. MORVADA beat YULONG JANUARY last start, third was last week’s Group 1 winner Streets of Avalon. BLAZEJOWSKI should have finished closer to “Streets” here last time and was second up/ five weeks between the runs. GOLD FIELDS is super genuine and jumped out in great style.
Selections: 3. Rock (Top Tip), 1. Age Of Chivalry, 6. Blazejowski, 4. Yulong January
1 led 4 in the C.S. Hayes, 7 took sit. 2, 3 handy. CATALYST just missed ALLIGATOR BLOOD in that race when only second up, giving said winner 1kg. His best win (arguably) was his only go at 1600m. Alligator Blood ran very fast time off a strong speed in Magic Millions then showed tremendous will to win to fight off Catalyst. CHENIER had a weight advantage but I like the way he closed on the two aforementioned over the wire. Yes 1600m/fitter. SUPERSTORM beat home star older horse Regal Power at the end of last prep. ALABAMA EXPRESS sat wide yet beat older horses in the Orr. Should relish 1600m.
Selections: 4. Catalyst (Top Tip), 1. Alligator Blood, 7. Chenier, 6. Superstorm
7 a key dual acceptor. No natural leader. Maybe 6 goes forward with 8. Both 2, 3 can be handy at 1600m. ADMIRAL’S JOKER is a ripper, he was on a 7-day back-up and 1100m to 1400m here last time. Winner GALAXY RAIDER went by him but he picked up to hit the line strongly and has a nice weight swing this scale. Galaxy Raider’s win was super though and he went by last week’s Group 1 winner Streets Of Avalon. NIGHT’S WATCH (slow out/ran on late) and FIFTY STARS (good) both resumed in G1/WFA C.F. Orr. There was little between them in the Makybe Diva here in spring. 4, 5 & 8 are chances.
Selections: 3. Admiral’s Joker (Top Tip), 7. Night’s Watch, 2. Fifty Stars, 9. Galaxy Raider
Sylvia’s Mother (5 stars)
Fidelia (5 stars)
Parmie (4 stars)
Age Of Chivalry (5 stars)
Yulong January (5 stars)
Morvada (5 stars)
Catalyst (5 stars)
Alligator Blood (5 stars)
Chenier (3 stars)
Fifty Stars (5 stars)
Night’s Watch (4 stars)
Ringerdingding (5 stars)
Race 7 #3 Alabama Express
Race 4, No.2 Cascadian – 4 stars
Best Bet: Fierce Impact ($7.50) – 3.5 stars
Next Best: Dreamforce ($5.50)
Exotic: Trifecta: 3,4,5/3,4,5,6/1,3,4,5,6
Race 6: Flit
1. Te Akau Shark
3. Happy Clapper
Race 3, No. 6 Tommy Gold
Race 7, No. 3 Te Akau Shark
Race 8, No. 8 Costello
Race 6: 1. FLIT, 2. Funstar, 3. Probabeel, 4. Lyre
Race 7: 1. DREAMFORCE, 2. Happy Clapper, 3. Te Akau Shark, 4. Avilius
Betting Confidence: Low
Back – #4 Funstar
Betting Confidence: Medium
Back – #5 Fierce Impact
Race 2: Stellar Pauline
Race 3: Prague
Race 4: Cascadian
Race 5: Sweet Deal
Race 6: Funstar
Race 7: Te Akau Shark
STELLAR PAULINE (2) displayed sharp improvement in the Magic Millions last start, continuing her upward spiral with each career start. Since kept fresh (49 days) and has trialled very well in the lead up. Hoping she can settle more prominently and she shapes as one of the hardest to beat. SUPREME IDEA (4) won the Lonhro Plate in good style last start and only looks to have to take that form to 1200m and she should be right in the finish. DUBAI STAR (6) is a big watch fresh, she displayed good ability last time in, while TILIA ROSE (5) also holds claims in her return.
PRAGUE (1) hasn’t done much wrong in two starts to date and looks to be the benchmark here. Sure to appreciate the step up in trip and should put himself into the race from the outset. Drawn to get a lovely run and should be in this for a long way. AIM (2) didn’t have a lot of luck when last seen at the Magic Millions and has to be kept safe fresh. Sole trial in the lead up was solid enough and he could look to settle closer from the inside draw. POSTCODE (3) displayed good ability in his maiden preparation and has trialled well off a break. Looks progressive and commands respect, while debutant ARGENTEUS (8) also holds claims.
CASCADIAN (2) was well supported first up and while unable to land the prize his performance was very good and he appears set for a big campaign. Inside draw isn’t overly ideal, but he gets the winkers on for the first time and if able to jump with them, he should prove hard to hold out. VEGADAZE (10) did a good job when dropping back in grade last start and appears back on track. Well placed down in the weights and should be in this for a long way. IMAGING (3) is a big watch in his Australian debut. Rates well on his best form from the UK and has certainly trialled up nicely. QUACKERJACK (4) the next in line in his return.
SWEET DEAL (4) went out a winner and returned a new career peak first up when simply dominant in the Triscay Stakes. Generally improves with racing and certainly gets her chance to go back to back. Shinn takes over and from the good draw she should lead and take plenty of catching. REELEM IN RUBY (1) never got into the race first up, but is much better placed here and expecting sharp improvement. CON TE PARTIRO (5) brings different form and has to be respected in her return, while POHUTUKAWA (6) can also improve second up.
FUNSTAR (4) went out off a new career peak when simply dominant in the Group 1 Flight Stakes. Two trials in the lead up have been solid enough and the 1400m suits. No favours with the draw, but trust in JMac to get her into the right spot. The one to beat. FLIT (1) was a lot more tractable first up with the blinkers on and was simply too good in the Light Fingers. Has the edge with that run under the belt and can easily go back to back. PROBABEEL (5) brings different form and ties in well from the Spring, she too has to be respected, while suspect LYRE (2) is another one who can improve sharply second up.
TE AKAU SHARK (3) failed to win last preparation in Australia, but his resume is still very impressive and he returned with a bang last start when far too good winning the Waikato Sprint. Sets up well with that run under his belt and while likely to get back from the draw, he should be hard to hold out late. DREAMFORCE (4) was no match for Alizee late last start, but gets two big ticks with Shinn (2/2) and the blinkers back on. Should lead and prove hard to gun down. Both AVILIUS (1) and FIERCE IMPACT (5) come out of the C.F. Orr Stakes and have to be included in the main chances, though both likely to need luck.
2. Stellar Pauline (3 stars)
1. Bella Nipotina (3 stars)
4. Supreme Idea (3 stars)
3. Queen Kay (3 stars)
1. Prague (3 stars)
2. Aim (3 stars)
3. Postcode (3 stars)
4. Mission River (3 stars)
4. Quackerjack (5 stars)
2. Cascadian (4 stars)
10. Vegadaze (2 stars)
6. El Dorado Dreaming (2 stars)
4. Sweet Deal (3 stars)
1. Reelem In Ruby (3 stars)
7. Sweet Scandal (2 stars)
10. Helga (2 stars)
5. Probabeel (3 stars)
7. How Womantic (3 stars)
1. Flit (3 stars)
3. Kiamichi (3 stars)
2. Happy Clapper (5 stars)
5. Fierce Impact (3 stars)
3. Te Akau Shark (3 stars)
13. Verry Elleegant (3 stars)
Fancy BELLA NIPOTINA might kick up and hold from the inside stall but 4, 5, 6 and 8 also have pace to contribute and she could relent if pressured. STELLAR PAULINE has found one better at each outing so far but after a Feb 17 trial win here she strikes a different bunch of fillies to those she’s met before and can set up to have last look in the race. DUBAI STAR (2nd to Hanseatic on debut is nice form) won a trial in the same Feb 17 session and did so a bit quicker. Does she want to cross right over and lead? No knock BELLA NIPOTINA and SUPREME IDEA is in the mix as well.
Selections 2. Stellar Pauline (Top Tip), 6. Dubai Star, 1. Bella Nipotina, 4. Supreme Idea
$1.6M colt PRAGUE has made a solid start to his career and (at $17) is highest up in Slipper markets of any of these. He’s done it on dry, on wet, and (importantly) round here. Whether he wants to press on and lead them here remains to be seen but if he doesn’t he will stalk with intent. That leading position could be POSTCODE’s. He has trialled well up against MAMARAGAN and TOMMY GOLD in two recent heats and Tim Clark remains on his back. MISSION RIVER also runner-up at both his starts but shouldn’t have to wait too long to break through. Like POSTCODE, 1000m to 1200m is his challenge.
Selections: 1. Prague (Top Tip), 3. Postcode, 4. Mission River, 2. Aim
10 can lead 4, and IMAGING has been up on speed in trials so presumably could have a say in how this is run as well. CASCADIAN (winkers first time) looks for the mile but this can suit on the way there. His slow getaways continue to frustrate though. VEGADAZE is 4 from 4 below stakes level so ostensibly this is a challenge but he will have the chance to control proceedings. QUACKERJACK has great fresh form (genuine excuses in two unplaced 1st-up runs) and he could see a soft time in transit. ROCK is another presumably with Doncaster ambitions at third run in. Climbed through the grades quickly last prep.
Selections: 2. Cascadian (Top Tip), 10. Vegadaze, 4. Quackerjack, 5. Rock
4 to lead 10 and 5. SWEET DEAL got under my guard first-up and I’m still embarrassed by it. She was dominant out front and the lead is hers for the taking again. Seven of today’s opposition here were held clearly at bay a fortnight ago so why not again?? Well, true, she switches from wet to dry but that’s probably a positive if anything. And rising to 1400m is certainly not something you’d find as a fault; it’s been her pet journey in the past. Maybe the one thing you could find is that Rawiller is sitting on the sidelines but she doesn’t have a bad fill-in with Shinn getting aboard. CON TE PARTIRO latest trial was impressive.
Selections: 4. Sweet Deal (Top Tip), 5. Con Te Partiro, 6. Pohutukawa, 1. Reelem In Ruby
G1 racing is back in town and here we have a high-grade bunch of fillies doing battle over 1400m. Some key runners are drawn very wide. One of them – HOW WOMANTIC – likely to cross up prominent and join KIAMICHI at the head. PROBABEEL winless from five starts in Australia but she went mighty close to beating FUNSTAR last prep and she trialled really pleasingly here last week. Needn’t get a mile back off the pace here. HOW WOMANTIC has ridden to every challenge and beat a couple of Sydney fillies at Caulfield. HEART OF THE OAK was last seen beating a mare that has won three on the trot since. Sound trial earlier this week as well.
Selections: 5. Probabeel (Top Tip), 7. How Womantic, 4. Funstar, 11. Heart Of The Oak
A ripper clash for a race that boasts only one last start winner (and that was overseas). 4 to lead 2, 7 and 10. I live in hope and among the hopes is a hope that HAPPY CLAPPER has a good G1 win left in him. What he did first-up wouldn’t have displeased anybody at all and I can imagine him toughing it out here all the way to the line again. Surely double figures? AVILIUS has won 6 of 8 in Sydney and been favourite for the last seven. Have to think he’s a key player here then. TE AKAU SHARK is undeniably exciting and has been very game in defeat in all three Australian runs to date. DREAMFORCE next best.
Selections: 2. Happy Clapper (Top Tip), 1. Avilius, 3. Te Akau Shark, 4. Dreamforce
Stellar Pauline (5 stars)
Supreme Idea (5 stars)
Dubai Star (4 stars)
Prague (5 stars)
Aim (4 stars)
Postcode (5 stars)
Cascadian (5 stars)
Imaging (4 stars)
Rock (4 stars)
Sweet Deal (5 stars)
Reelem In Ruby (4 stars)
Con Te Partiro (3 stars)
Funstar (5 stars)
Flit (5 stars)
Probabeel (5 stars)
Te Akau Shark (5 stars)
Dreamforce (5 stars)
Avilius (5 stars)
LAY – Te Akau Shark for 3 units
Race 5 #4 Sweet Deal – BEST BET
Race 6 #2 Lyre – VALUE BET
Race 7 #3 Te Akau Shark – LAY BET